Infrastructure special report
GUEST COLUMN: Renewable energy is bearing fruit
REIPPP has improved the lives of rural South Africans in a big way
One of the most important achievements of the highly successful Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer (REIPPP) Programme is often underreported and undervalued. The programme, which has been praised both locally and internationally, has done far more than just add 3,079MW to the SA electricity grid at increasingly competitive tariffs. It has had a tangible, positive impact on the lives of the people in the communities in which the projects are located. The majority of the REIPPP projects are located in remote rural communities which are hardest hit by poverty and extremely high unemployment levels. The programme is structured to support local community upliftment and provides for local ownership and job creation and contributes to social and enterprise development. The minimum threshold for local community ownership was set at 2.5% as a procurement condition. To date, the shareholding of local communities has been structured through the establishment of various local community...